Hey kids, happy summer! Today is my first day of my summer vacation and I already did the first thing on my summer to-do list: slept until my body told me it was time to get up. Waking up to an alarm (then hitting the snooze button every five minutes for a half hour) really bums me out so all I really wanted out of my first day of summer vacation was to wake up on my own. Now, that may have been 7:00 a.m., but it was without an alarm nonetheless 🙂
Then I did something I haven’t done in two weeks: I went food shopping! We literally had NO food in the house. I mean, when the cans of fruit and mini bags of Doritos that Jack was living off of got scarce I knew it was time to go. I stocked up on a whole bunch of fresh produce including a pint of blueberries that were on sale, strawberries, bananas, and a quarter of a seedless watermelon.
Food shopping at 8:00a.m.is far less stressful than on a Sunday afternoon. I even made it to Trader Joe’s to buy some whole wheat pizza dough for Pizza Monday and a bottle of Two Buck Chuck.
Have you ever tried this stuff? It is only $2.99 a bottle and isn’t half bad! I actually have only had the red wines but if the white is as good as that I will have a new go-to wine. If not I can stick to the $2.99 red wines. See, a win-win situation!
After food shopping I headed to Tristan’s 11am Avalon Crossfit class. I love taking classes with Tristan but when I am in school I can’t make it to his afternoon classes. This means I only take classes with him for bootcamp or when he is filling in for someone else. Today’s class was different than the those other classes though. First off, it was much smaller (I really heart small classes). There were 4 of us (and I was the only girl). With the class being so small I was able to really hoard Tristan’s attention and get him to answer every question I had. It was just like the good old days when we did onboarding together 🙂
I got there before anyone else so we chatted about protein for fueling after a workout. I just got a new Whey Protein powder today on trip to Trader Joe’s and wasn’t sure how much to put in a smoothie. He said one scoop should be plenty because the purpose of the protein after a workout is to get protein digested as fast as possible after a workout.
Warm up was pretty straight forward: 3 rounds
- 5 inchworms
- 10 air squats
- 15 jumping jacks
- 5 x 5 front squat
- 10 pull-ups (modified with a thick band around my knees)
Front squats are hard for me because I do not have the flexibility in my wrists that I need to correctly hold the bar across my shoulders. One of my elbows (the right one) is always high than the other too which makes me lopsided. I can squat like a champ though with a modification where I rest the bar across my shoulders and criss cross my arms to keep my elbows up and the bar in place. I did my first set with just the 45lb bar, the second set with 65lbs, and the last three with 75lbs.
Pull ups were tough. We were working on dead hang pull ups and using the thick band around my knee I could do 4 in a row (woop woop) but then it got so hard and I would have to do like 1 and 1/2 then take a break.
- Kettle bell swings (16kg)
- push ups
- ab mat sit ups
Today I was like a Crossfit virgin (sing it with me: “Crossfitting for the very first tiiiimmmeee”). Let me explain:
When I started back in January I was so eager to improve and get stronger and faster. Every class I really pushed myself. I tried heavier weights and scaled down if needed. I always started as close to prescribed as possible. Somewhere over time though, I got lazier and didn’t push myself the way I should have. I started with the lower weight kettlebells, did push-ups on my knees, underestimated what I was capable of. Actually, I just went with the motions.
In Crossfit, however, they say something like “If you do the same thing you will get the same results”. I want to get faster and stronger. I needed a fresh start and a little pep talk from Tristan sure went a long way. We discussed the fact that I am kinda scared to be the last one finished and have been struggling to push myself because I don’t want to be the last one (even though I know it is a ridiculous thought). He sympathized with me, but explained that to get faster and stronger I need to go heavier and take longer (at first). He encouraged me to not let finishing last hinder me from really progressing. He strongly suggested always going for as close to prescribed as possible and said if I needed to drop weight or modify as I go to do so. He encouraged pacing myself so I could move continuously through the WOD and take small rest breaks if necessary.
No pain no gain I guess?!
My renewed Crossfit mantra: Go big or go home.
- I went with the 16kg kettle bell and used it for the entire WOD.
- I also did “real” pushups for the 21-18-15 reps, resting a little between then modified to my knees for the 12-9, and went back to “real”ones for 6-3.
- Ab mat sit ups were a piece of cake 😉
I finished in 14:32 (or something like that), at least 4 full minutes after the guys. I feel AMAZING.
My run to and from Crossfit totaled 2.25 miles and served as a great warm up pre-Crossfit and a form of post-workout torture on the way home.
A week ago I ran my first half marathon, a feat which was both amazing and terrifying at the same time. You see, it is very easy to sign up for a race in February and proudly declare “I am running a half marathon in May” (ya know, when the race is three months away). It is also very easy to map out a training plan that includes both lengthy runs and Crossfit.
But then May comes along and I suddenly realized that 13.1 miles is no joke. And that one 10 mile race I ran in March doesn’t count as proper training. Keeping this in mind it will not surprise you that a week before The Half I felt a range of emotions and barely slept. I was still recovering from my toe incident and wasn’t loving running at the moment.
Friday I went to the race expo and picked up my number:
It was a pretty low number considering there were over 8,000 runners at the Run to Remember.
I grabbed a beer and some dinner after leaving the expo and then spent that night and Saturday relaxing. Saturday night I headed to Ali’s “Carb and Hydrate Party”. There were 12 or so runners there and we hung out, ate some really good food, and drank gatorade. Ali played hostess and photographer:
I was probably home and in bed by 10. The great thing was I had NO problem falling asleep! I had made sure to charge my Garmin and itouch and pack my energy bites and bag for the morning.
The morning of the race I was so damn nervous. Not the “I can’t do this” type of nervous, but more like the “let’s get on with this nervous”. Jack and I headed to Boston’s Seaport around 7 am and from the car to the beginning of the race I managed to only use the bathroom twice.
I waited around with Jack and listened to the music as other runners arrived. My friend Amy came out to take all my pictures and orchestrate her and Jack’s mile 9 spectator/get to the finish line plan. Eventually Ali and a group of her friends found us. It really calmed my nervous energy when I was around a group of people who were about to do the same thing as me!
Around 8:00 I headed to line up at the start line. There were soooooo many people, everywhere! I had originally planned to start alone and stay running alone, out of fear that I would not want to separate from the group if I started with them, but I found myself lined up right with them anyways. It was nice to be able to chat and keep my mind off the 13.1 miles I was about to tackle. I got a couple last minute pictures before the race began:
The first couple of miles was really packed and the pacing varied. During this time I stayed with Ali and crew and we weaved in and out of the other runners. It began at the World Trade Center in the Seaport and through Faneuil Hall up toward Mass General then all along Memorial Drive into Harvard and back. It was pretty cool scenery for a race. At the first water stop I knew I’d need to slow down so I waved goodbye to Ali and blasted my headset.
I made sure the beginning of my playlist was slower music:
- “Two Step” Dave Matthews Band
- “The Sotry of Us” Taylor Swift
- “Wake Up Everbody” John Legend
- “Closer” Kings of Leon
- “Speechless” Lady Gaga
They always say not to try anything new on race day, and while I know they are talking about wearing a new pair of sneakers or eating a new food, I am going to extend that into trying out a brand new playlist. Now, I know what you are thinking: massive, bloody blisters and pooping your pants are pretty severe consequences compared to simply not liking a song- and I totally agree. But if music motivates you to run, keeps you going, and pumps you up the way it does me then having a carefully built playlist will make any run seem more enjoyable and add to your racing experience.
Here are my tips to making a killer race-day playlist:
1) Consider why you are running.
- I think it is most important to think about what you are running for. My playlists on a “regular” run vary from slower paced music like John Mayer to music with a faster pace like anything Black-Eyed Peas. If I want to run slow I listen to slower music, if I want to pick it up I listen to faster music. I usually am not running to beat/create a PR or to win so I let my playlist take on the natural progression of a run: start off slow, build up power, then cool down. The website JogTunes is an awesome resource to find the BPM (beats per minute) of songs. You can use it to taylor a playlist to whatever you want your pace to be.
2) Scope out some new music on the radio.
- When I listen to the radio I usually am listening for new (or new to me) songs that could be potential candidates. Often times I find that hip-hop and rock songs have a great beat to them and I can imagine my feet moving with it. Usually I end up You-Tubing the entire song and deciding if it is worth putting on a playlist.
- Asking other runners for playlist music is a great idea. One thing you may find, however is that their taste in running music doesn’t suit yours. I always accept song suggestions or CD playlists and give them a try. My friend Amy had once given me a playlist that included The Kings of Leon who I don’t really care for, but they ended up being a great running band!
- When racing you need to hold yourself back from going all out at the beginning. Slow and steady wins the race! Choosing music that will keep you moving at a slower pace is one way to help prevent you from the starting-sprint. You spend a lot of your time at the beginning of races (especially longer races) weaving in and out of crowds and taking in the environment so pick music that will help make this part of the race less frantic.
- Dave Matthews “Two Step” (super long)
- Kings of Leon “Closer”
- The Killers “Human”, “Read My Mind”, and “All These Things I Have Done”
- Timbaland ft. Katy Perry “If we Ever Meet Again”
- Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me”
- When you get about halfway through the race, and you start picking up your pace, make sure that your playlist does the same. I like music that I can listen too, and possibly sing to, but haven’t heard over and over. I try to stay away from “ear worms” that will never get out of my head as well. No one wants to be singing
- Akon “Beautiful”
- Katy Perry ft. Kanye West “E.T”
- MGMT “Time to Pretend”
- Ke$ha “Blow”
- Craig David “Insomnia”
- And don’t forget to add in those Power Songs. You know the ones that make you feel invincible? Putting these towards the end of a playlist, when I am more likely to need a boost, and turing them up LOUD really gets my feet pumping. Finish line here I come!
- Eminem “Till I Collapse”
- Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
- J Lo ft. Pit Bull “On the Floor”
- Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
- Once you have carefully selected and placed songs on they playlist take it out on a training run with you. I mean, you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive right?! 😉 Sometimes songs just don’t fit the playlist, don’t hold your interest, or aren’t good “running songs”. Many songs I have put on playlists during races immediately bring up racing memories (mostly good, some bad) after and sometimes they even get me motivated to go for a spontaneous run!
Good morning peeps!
I woke up a lot earlier than normal today so I have the luxury to post before I leave for school. It would be great if I could get up in time to do this every day, and while it may be a possibility this summer, or maybe even next school year, it is just a random occurrance for this year.
Breakfast today is a Van’s waffle sandwich with chunky peanut butter and a half a banana. I had run out of waffles and was eating bagels for breakfast until today. I enjoy bagels on special occassions like staff breakfasts or on vacation but I don’t personally care for them every morning so I am happy I stocked up on waffles.
I don’t eat breakfast until I have my coffee and settled myself into school for the day.
On Sunday I ran the Harpoon 5-Miler to benefit the Angel Fund. It was a few weeks earlier than it had been in the past. They actually changed the first-come-first-register policy that had me scrambling like a lunatic to get to a computer when registration opened to try to get a spot (the same process that you go through when trying to get concert tickets). Last year I actually got put on the wait list and eventually ended up getting a number. PHEW. This year registration was a lottery and they encouraged groups of friends to sign up as 6-packs (get it). I liked this idea because it really encouraged teams to create names (and t-shirts/costumes). Our team was split into three 6-packs and we were the “Ultimate Beer Runners”. I got shirts printed up by my friend Bodner and they came out awesome! You can design the shirts online and he will print them! Check his company out here.
Before heading to the race I laid out all my stuff the night before to be sure I was all set to go in the morning. I packed flip flops (which I didn’t end up bringing), my number, my t-shirt, etc. I also ate a blueberry Clif Bar for breakfast.
My number was 3909.
When we met everyone at the brewery I gave shirts out and we headed out 0.25 mies to the start line. There were so many people we actually started behind the “walkers” sign. Good thing timing began when you crossed that “start” line (not that I wasn’t running for time or anything, I actually didn’t wear my Garmin). I ended up finishing in just about 46ish minutes, which put me in a really good mindset for next Sunday’s race. I felt great running, though I wish I had used the bathroom before beginning the run. Mo and I kept pace together and chatted the whole time, which seemed to make the time pass much faster. We actually ended up missing the first water stop because we weren’t paying attention!
After crossing the finish line and finding our teammates we headed to the beer line. Every runner got 2 free beer tickets with registration, and if you are a friend of Harpoon (which I am) you get an extra beer.
I had a few Harpoon Whites through the course of the day.
I also ate a TON of Cape Cod chip samples. The salt and vinegar are sooooo good that I actually bought a bag yesterday to bring with my lunch for the week. Good marketing Cape Cod Chips 😉
Though it got quite chilly once the sweat started drying and the sun went in I hung out with Amy and Mo for a couple of hours post-race.
I left the brewery around 1 and when I got home I was DYING to take a nap. I had woken up with a headache that played hide and seek on me throughout the whole race. I drank a ton of water before lying down and it seemed to help. When I woke up (headache free) Jack surprised me with a pizza from Santarpios. It is no Reginas but it hit the spot. I actually was SO hungry I had 4 slices.
Today is going to be 80 degrees and I am thinking that means Bootcamp will be held outside. I am actually wearing a dress to work today because I have a feeling my classroom is going to feel very sticky. My hair is actually already frizzing.
I had an extremely productive day today. I bought new sneakers, made Dirt for Easter (recipe post to follow), did 2 loads of laundry, AND made a last minute decision to attend an Avalon Crossfit class.
I hadn’t intended on working out today but when I saw the Workout of the Day (WOD) I knew I had to do it!
First, it was outside on the track. Well, it was kind of cold out (obviously the snowy-winter turned me into a wuss because I didn’t always HATE working out in the cold), but I knew that once I was warmed up I’d be OK.
Second, it involved a 2 mile run, split into 5-400m loops around the track. Hey, I wanted to try out my new sneakers! (The were fantastic by the way! I am in love with them!)
WOD: Take it to the Track
- 400m run
- 50 sit ups
- 400m run
- 50 push-ups (modified on knees)
- 400m run
- 50 air-squats
- 400m run
- 50 ledge jumps (think box jumps on a ledge)
- 400m run
- 50 ledge dips
and DONE! in 21:20
It was NOT easy running after doing 50 squats- or 50 ledge jumps, but I did it and I had an incredible “ruuner’s high” after finishing!
I also decided that I need to start rocking out some real push=ups. I think I could probably stick with the modification forever and it won’t necesarily help me progress to “real” ones. The next WOD that calls for 10 push ups each round I will make myself do real ones. I know it may take longer, which is tough when you are doing the WOD for time, but it is the only way I can start being stronger.
After I master push ups, I’ll take on the pull-ups, but that is another story for another day.
Regina’s Pizza + red wine= best post-workout meal ever.
What are you looking forward to doing most outside as the weather gets warmer? I can’t wait to get back into running 3/4 days a week!
What a lovely Monday we had on our hand today,eh? I mean, if every Monday could be close to 80 I think we’d be in much better shape. Of course, I could do without the full day of school AND the principal’s meeting that kept me indoors until 4, but that’s a story for another day.
Point is- I love this time of year when we start getting warmer weather. They days are longer too which makes me want to get outside and make the most of the daylight!
I did just that when I busted out of school this afternoon- but we will get to that later.
Let’s talk eats first.
Breakfast was a three way combo that I munched on from 7:30 a.m. to like 10. hey, it works. I started with a french vanilla iced coffee from Dunks and a waffle sandwich.
The waffle sandwich was made with two Van’s blueberry waffles, half a banana sliced into three, and a tablespoon (or two) of Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. I actually ran out of regular peanut butter which is why I went with this combo but I wasn’t upset. it was pretty darn good. I also had a shake made with a sliced banana, almond milk, ice and water.
Lunch was Spaghetti-O’s (I hadn’t gone food shopping yet obvi.). When was the last time you had these?
I made the decision the second I stepped out of school to run to and from Avalon Crossfit. It was a good and bad decision. Good because it is a sneaky way to get in some mileage towards my half marathon training plan, bad because the WOD included some running in it. I munched on three Power Bar energy chews before I headed out for the run.
I ran 1.21 miles there and back and ran 1.5 miles during the WOD for a total of just under 4 miles. My legs felt great until the run home when my shins started stinging a little bit. I wasn’t running crazy or anything but I have gotten shin splints a few times in the past, mainly because I tried to do too much too fast. This time it is because I need new sneakers (I got my last pair in October).
Our WOD was done outside at the high school track, which was great because 15 people were signed up for class tonight. We would NOT have survived an indoor class with that many people. It was refreshing to be outside!
WOD “Harkey” 3 rounds for time (I finished in 30min 5 seconds)
- 50 ab mat it-ups
- 50 double unders/250 singles (I can’t jump rope for the life of me. Attempts counted for the Double unders. I did a mix between both)
- 800m/0.5mile run
I asked John to watch when I jumped rope and he told me I was using my shoulders, as opposed to my wrists to swing the rope around. We were kind short on jump ropes so I didn’t get to try this with the right rope for me until my last round. Double Unders are not easy!
This kid is my idol!
Dinner tonight was a store-bought chicken breast, long-grain garlic rice pilaf, and corn on the cob with a slab o’ butter. I used to hate corn on the cob because of how much I hate the feeling of getting it stuck in my teeth. Now I have a technique: I kinda knaw on it at an angle. It works perfectly, no floss needed!
I tried a zillion times to get the picture of the dinner to download but it wouldn’t and I am over it. It i just about my bedtime peeps.
How did you spend your afternoon??
I had a pretty amazing weekend. Hung out with friends and family, enjoyed many tasty beverages, ran 5 miles, got an awesome sunglass tan. Sunglass tans rock 🙂 Unfortunately it doesn’t photograph too well, I still look winter-pale, so I’ll spare you a picture!
Friday I headed to the mall to find a dress for a wedding next weekend. I got a black dress from White House Black Market and a pair of kick-ass purple heels from Charlotte Russe. I feel like these shoes paired with that dress create a pretty bold statement, and even though my right foot barely fits in the shoe, I am going with it! I will also be sure to pack a pair of Old Navy flippies 🙂
Friday night I met Amy for dinner at Max and Dylan’s. It was pretty crowded with a random assortment of after workers and post-opening day-ers. Many of them were already drunk and rowdy. We situated ourselves at the bar and I had two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.
Dinner was buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese. It was amazing, though slightly on the spicier side than usual. I ate most of the pasta and a couple of pieces of the chicken.
After dinner we headed to the Warren Tavern where we met up with Ali. We all hit it off and chatted most of the night away. It is amazing how easily the conversation flowed considering the first time we ever met was Wednesday! I pretty much ended up spending the entire weekend with her. Well, we didn’t hang out Saturday, but I think we shared the same post-Friday-fun feeling all day (if you know what I mean).
Saturday I was up and at ‘em (though very
hungover groggy from my Friday night festivities) to get my eyebrows done. Embarrassingly enough I was feeling way to crappy to make it to bootcamp (sorry Tristan!), so I headed to the New England Aquarium with my cousins and brother instead. First thing we saw were the penguins, then some turtles and a whole bunch of fish. There wasn’t much to do there (thank god teachers get in free), so we were in and out in about an hour and a half.
After we all headed to the Black Rose for some lunch and some beers (gag).
We shared the spinach and artichoke dip, but it was nothing to write home about. Very salty, not too creamy.
For lunch I got the most adult thing on the menu: a diet pepsi and a grilled cheese.
On the walk home we stopped at Max and Dylan’s to sit outside and have a couple of beverages. I love outdoor eating and drinking. It is seriously the best part about warmer weather (well, besides the beach). I enjoyed 2 blue moons while we were there.
Sunday was a blast. I ran the Doyle’s 5-Miler in Jamaica Plain with my friend Maureen, Ali, and her friend Julia. I love running in groups because chatting the time away goes by so much faster than listening to music! Let me tell you, it was perfect race weather! Slightly breezy and just warm enough. I ran in my new Nike Dri-fit pants and gray t-shirt. I also ran in a hat but it was so hot I wish I hadn’t.
Before I left my house I devoured a Clif bar. This is my go-to pre-run food.
I saw runners with numbers up to the 2,000’s and on such a narrow path, many points at the race got congested. I got stuck behind many strollers and slower runners which was so frustrating. I was not trying to be a speed demon by any means. I wanted to go at a comfortable pace where I could still enjoy the experience.
Of course I sprinted which I got to mile 4, forgetting that a mile is still pretty far to go. At that point I just wanted it to be over with! When I finished I got into the free beer pandemonium that was going on outside the bar . It was kind of stressful. When one of our friends got to the front he just kept handing them back to us. I ended up with two Sam Adams’.
Mo and I enjoyed them immensely while we waited to meet back up with Ali and Julia. I also met up with mi familia. My cousin Carney, her husband Mark, and my cousin Brendan came out (with a cooler).
I got hungry around 2 and went inside to order a pizza. While I waited I enjoyed listening to the live Irish Band play. They were amazing- people were dancing and singing at the top of their lungs! I brought the pizza outside for others to enjoy too!
I headed home around 4 and I was BEAT. Jack picked me up some food from Kowloon but I was too tired to even eat it. Ok, I managed to eat a few chicken fingers, fried wontons and broccoli. But I literally, I went to take a nap at 4:30 and didn’t get out of bed until this morning! Guess I needed to recover before taking on this last week of school before April vacation!
Phew- that was my weekend. I got to start blogging on the weekends! I think this Friday I will instate a “5 Word Friday/Saturday?Sunday” so I can keep ya up-to-date in a more timely fashion.
Crossfit is outside tonight! Woop woop!